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Tue Feb 21, 2012, 01:11 PM

The cult of the hyperpolyglot

Many people want to speak a second language, but for some people two can never be enough. Welcome to the world of the hyperpolyglot.

Ray Gillon speaks 18 languages. To be precise, he only speaks eight fluently. His grasp on the other 10 is merely conversational.


Something I always dreamed of as a kid. I had a roommate once who spoke 9 languages with equal fluency, but none to "native" perfection. He had no real mother tongue, as his first 3 languages were simultaneous, English, Swedish and Spanish. It wasn't that he had an accent in any of them, but there was something in the cadence, or tone of his delivery that always hinted at something non-native.

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